News / USA

Farm Bill Key Issue on Presidential Campaign Trail in Iowa

Farm Bill Key Issue on Presidential Campaign Trail in Iowai
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
Kane Farabaugh
August 15, 2012 9:01 PM
Agriculture legislation known as the “Farm Bill”, scheduled to expire at the end of September, is one of the top issues on the presidential campaign trail in the Midwest state of Iowa. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, continued drought conditions, and lack of action by legislators on renewing Farm Bill legislation, could influence voters when they head to the polls in November.
Kane Farabaugh
DAVENPORT, Iowa — Agriculture legislation known as the “Farm Bill”, scheduled to expire at the end of September, is one of the top issues on the presidential campaign trail in the Midwest state of Iowa.  Continued drought conditions, and lack of action by legislators on renewing Farm Bill legislation, could influence voters when they head to the polls in November.
 
A lack of rain and scorching temperatures are taking a toll on eastern Iowa farmer Robb Ewoldt.
 
On his farm outside Davenport, a creek bed usually flowing with water is almost completely dried up.  His grazing pastures are so bare he has to bring in hay and water daily to keep his cows fed.
 
To make matters worse, some of his corn crop has wilted, and Ewoldt is worried that low supply and high prices will impact other parts of his farming operation. “The hog operations are going to be really hurting because they need to feed corn.  The poultry is really going to be in a squeeze because that’s all a chicken will eat is corn.  And a dairy guy has to feed corn to get his cows to produce a lot of corn," he said. 
 
While campaigning in Iowa, President Barack Obama announced the U.S. government would buy up to $170 million worth of pork, chicken, and lamb to help those producers affected by the drought.  Ewoldt views the announcement as a political maneuver.
 
“In the short run it’s going to help us, but to sustain us through what were going to see over the next eight to ten months in these crop prices and our input costs for livestock, it’s not going to do much at all," he said. 
 
Ewoldt says what would help are certain benefits provided by the Farm Bill, such as crop insurance.  He wants the legislation renewed before it expires to help provide a sense of security amid the drought. “We’re tired of the gridlock.  We’re tired of hearing that the Congress, the House and Senate are all locked up, and there’s so much - everybody’s so divided," he said. 
 
“In this part of the country especially, they feel very disconnected from Washington," said Augustana College Political Science Professor Christopher Whitt. He said in Iowa, the drought could determine the November election. “The ways in which the people from the two parties either respond or didn’t respond to the drought, would be a game changer.”
 
Oklahoma Republican Congressman Frank Lucas, Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, hopes lawmakers visiting their districts during the recess will see the impact of the drought, and act to pass the Farm Bill.  “I’m counting on farmers and ranchers across the country who are impacted by the drought to remind their members of Congress, that’s what constituents do a wonderful job of, to work with committee to get the job done," he said. 
 
“Hopefully we can get by this bickering and let’s get it done, and let’s do what’s best for the country not what’s best for the parties," said Ewoldt. 
 
In the meantime, what would be best for Ewoldt is more rain, to get the water running through his creek again, and to help the grass grow in his pastures so his cows can eat on their own, without his help.

You May Like

Turkey's Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

Speaking at conference in Istanbul, President Erdogan says Islam has defined a position for women: motherhood More

Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations

Some regional analysts say distrust between Pakistani, Indian officials has slowed SAARC's progress over the year More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid